An M3A1 Stuart tank, which for many years was an honored outdoor exhibit at the Brainerd National Guard Armory, will find a home at the soon to be built new facility of the Minnesota Military and Veterans Museum.
National Guardsmen from the 850th Engineer Company arrived the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 5, with a new 80-ton crane — used for the first time on this project — to facilitate the transfer of this tank to the Camp Ripley Combined Support Maintenance Shop, where it will undergo a restoration in anticipation of its move to the new Minnesota Military and Veterans Museum building, which is scheduled for its grand opening in 2024.
The tank is representative of the sacrifices made by the Provisional Tank Group’s 194th Tank Battalion during its desperate struggle to defend the Philippines during the early stages of World War II.
Although a slightly different model than used by the 194th during World War II — original M3 Stuart tanks like the type used by the 194th in the Philippines are especially rare — it nonetheless will be an important centerpiece in an exhibit to honor the men from the Brainerd area that composed the bulk of the soldiers in Company A of the 194th, museum officials reported Tuesday.
“The new Minnesota Military and Veterans Museum is excited to promote their proposed new 40,000 square foot facility, one that will offer a proper place to honor the service and sacrifices of all Minnesota veterans from the Civil War up to the Global War on Terror,” officials said in a news release.